Sweden does it again.
Yet another Swedish band appears seemingly from out of nowhere, I'm beginning to assume that you could leave one band and just walk straight into another in Sweden as they must be in every rehearsal room, scout hut and basement such is the volume of bands per square mile that country seems to have. I can imagine being at a party in Sweden and everyone being amazed when someone admits they're actually not in a band, "What do you mean not in a band?" "Are you weird or something?"
Zonaria have death metal stylings combined with the good old Gothenburg sound to come across like 'Dark Tranquillity' but maybe a little more melodic, uncompromising in its attack and with a voice that could strip paint they are a polished and inventive band that have produced a cracking debut. At times the guitars even brought to mind 'At the gates' which is saying something.
Production on this is top notch, if you're the type of listener who likes to hear everything but also have it blow bits out of your speakers (like me) then you'll like this, the heavy bits fall out of the speakers and thud into the floor and the slightly lighter bits fly straight across the room and smash ornaments, you know you've got something well made when you find yourself doing the death claw with your hand whilst pretending to sing along. I say pretend as I didn't actually know any of the words but wanted to sing along anyway, that's when I knew it was a good 'un.
It's not without its faults, but then what is, the songs do have a tendency to sound very similar even through all the inventiveness of the riffage as death metal voices that override the music keep everything within a narrow zone, this shouldn't put you off if you're a fan of something like 'Dark Tranquillity' or singers that are too high for growling and too low for screamcore, you know somewhere in between, like a pissed off Balrog or something.
I haven't actually said anything about the songs have I? Well suffice to say they charge along like a bulldozer running downhill with its handbrake broken and no one at the controls, you can get in the way and get pulverised or you can jump on for a wild ride that will shake the bones from your body whilst laughing maniacally like I do, Nurse? Nurse!
A good buy if you like this sort of thing but it won't convert anyone that isn't already familiar with the whole Swedish death metal thing.